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Since 2002, MilitaryHops.com has been dedicated to being the premier index of information about Space Available (Space-A) Military Flights that qualified people can travel on. Our goal is that if the information you seek on this subject is on the World Wide Web then you can find it from here. See Our Pick of the Top 12 Most Useful Websites.

Background:

It should be noted that while flying on U.S. military aircraft is usually without cost, it is not a reliable means of travel. Unlike a commercial airline there are usually no backup flights if the plane is diverted or if there are not enough seats. So your ability to fly to a destination depends on:

  • The plane actually arriving at your destination
  • The plane being needed at the other destination (if not the flight could be cancelled or diverted)
  • Space Available seats being available on the flight
  • Your flight category being high enough to qualify for one of the Space Available seats
MilitaryTravel.com

MILITARY DISCOUNT AIRFARES

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We highly encourage active duty military members to buy a military discount airline ticket through MilitaryTravel.com. Unfortunately, if you cannot catch a Military Hop for some reason then you will be stuck buying an airline ticket at the last moment which is the most expensive way to travel as well as the least assured since commercial airlines can also overbook flights. If on Active Duty, you may also be stuck somewhere burning up Leave and hotel money as well as risking a Non-Judicial Punishment hearing for Unauthorized Absence (UA or AWOL) if you do not return on time. For these reasons, we highly recommend that Space-A travel on a Military Hop be limited to true leisure travel for those with time to spare:

  • Retirees - Backup tickets can be purchased from VetTravel.com.
  • Dependents
  • ROTC/Service Academy students with the Summer off

The one thing that is most difficult to come by on the web is actual flight information for these military aircraft. It has never been easy and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks the military is clamping down on that information as it should. The best sites that have info on how to find flight information are the official AMC site, John D's Space-A Travel FAQ's, and Dirk Pepperd's Space-A WWW Chat Board. Your best bet will be to be flexible and to call the individual terminals that are options for you in advance of your actual travel plans to see if they expect to have any Space Available flights that fit your plans.

Top 12 Websites Related to Military Travel

Air Mobility Command

100% Recommended
Space Available Travel Rules and Regulations

If you don't know the rules, you can't play the game. This is a constantly updated site run by the people who manage the military's Space-A flight system (at least the Air Force's part of it). This site does NOT have the flight schedules for the system. You have to call individual terminals for each of those-- but this site does have points of contact for the terminals. It also has the travel request form that you will need to fill out. It is the starting point for all questions (who can fly, who has priority, how much luggage, etc.). The Official Rules are in Word Format here and PDF Format here.

SpaceA.net

  100% Recommended

John D's FAQ's

One of the Original "Three Amigos" of the Unofficial Military Hop Community on the web, John D's FAQ's includes an up-to-date listing of questions and acronyms that might need explaining. It also has links to the Department of Defense overseas school schedules which can help you decide whether or not to take a trip since the number of space available seats you are eligible for obviously drops when the kids are out of school.

Dirk Pepperd's Space-A
WWW Chat Board

100% Recommended

Space-A Chat

Another of the "Three Amigo's" websites. While we do not like being required to log-in to ask a question, we understand the necessity. It is amazing the amount of current info that travelers put up here. Very up-to date. You can either ask other viewers a specific Military Hop question or look thru past posts to see if you can find the answer you are looking for. There are so many posts to this chat board that it used to take a while to load using a dial-up modem (particularly the archives). It now includes a link to sign-up for Hops online or from a PDA!

MilitaryTravel.com

100% Recommended

For Active-Duty Military and Government Employees

This site has had a major upgrade since our last report and Active Duty military and their dependents can now book Military Discount Rate airfares here! In addition to being cheaper, these fares usually can be changed without cost. MilitaryTravel.com has a lot of great advice on military traveling such as USO locations in airports and tips on packing your uniforms and bags. Through this site you can also book rental cars and hotel rooms at either discount rates, government rates, or full rates.

MilitaryTravel.com

MILITARY DISCOUNT AIRFARES

VetTravel.com

90% Recommended

For Retired Veterans

We recommend VetTravel.com through which you can check regular airline, hotel, and rental car fares as well as Senior Citizen rates for wherever you wish to travel. Please take note that you need to select the Senior Citizens box when requesting a price quote to get the discounts. A MilitaryTravel.com related site, it also has a listing of Military Lodging links where you may be eligible to stay.

 


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Joint Operational Support Airlift Center

60% Recommended

Space Available Flight Schedules

These Military Hop schedules are only viewable from government facilities (or .mil computers to be precise). The public viewing sections of these schedules are searchable five days from flight time. Real time information.

 

State Dept.Travel Warnings and Information Sheets

60% Recommended

Special Note: As of JULY 2008 all U.S. citizens MUST have a passport to come and go from the United States.

Worldwide Travel Advisories

For OUTCONUS travel, these are a must-see resource. While most military personnel (past, present, and future) think in terms of military threats, the biggest threats to your well-being in a foreign country are usually criminal activities of various types or police crackdowns on activities which might not be illegal in America (such as religious missionary work). Check out what the State Department is advising travelers before you depart for a particular country.

American Automobile Association

(AAA)

50% Recommended

International Driver's Permits

AAA is the official source for International Driver's Permits in the U.S. For many of the countries where you may travel, you will need not only a valid driver's license in the U.S. but you will also need an International Driver's Permit. You can get one from an AAA office (you will need two passport photos or they can be made there) or through the mail (they will need a photocopy of your current driver's license). This website will ask you for your zip code and then redirect you to the local area AAA website. AAA also has other road products for overseas travel preparation.

 

Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG)

50% Recommended

Foreign Clearance Guide
(.mil access required with a username and password)

You cannot just jump on a Space-A military flight and expect to be allowed to go anywhere in the world without being in compliance with the rules of wherever the plane is going to land (and this includes intermediate stops). This guide has all of the rules for Military Hops and their flight crews and passengers. Make sure you are in compliance with all of these rules or it is unlikely that you will be allowed to board the aircraft in the first place.

AFCrossroads Leisure Activities

40% Recommended

 

Space-A Military Base Websites/Phone Numbers

This site has a listing of military websites that have Space Available web pages and military space-a phone numbers. May be worth a look if you have specific locations in mind.

Bidding Travel Sites

Priceline.com

Hotwire.com

40% Recommended

Usefulness Downgraded

We used to give these sites higher marks for serving military travelers, but their usefulness has declined in recent years as the online travel industry has changed. In our judgement Priceline.com is the best way to BID for an airfare or hotel room but the deals really aren't as good as they once were. With hotels and airlines booked to capacity these days, you are better off controlling your own travel arrangements.

The advantage to bidding for a room is that you can either get the same quality hotel you desired for less, or you can bid the same amount as you had budgeted and get a better hotel. Both Hotwire.com and Priceline.com have well designed maps and associated zones so that your hotel is in the part of the city you desire rather than across town somewhere.

To avoid overbidding, you should only bid after checking to see what the rates are on MilitaryTravel.com or VetTravel.com

When you make a bid for a Priceline.com or Hotwire.com hotel room or airfare, if it is accepted you must use it or lose your money-- no changes are allowed.  Also, be aware that you will lose the right to pick your airline if you place a bid through these sites unless you restrict the search to just one airline. Important for those using Frequent Flyer mile programs.

Other Sites

These are Sites that you might want to look at but that we think are not as user friendly or as current as the others we have listed above.

 This Site is Not Affiliated with any U.S. Government Agency.

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 Updated 08 JULY 2008